Rapper-turned-reality show star Flavor Flav has been in Clinton, Iowa preparing for today’s scheduled opening of Flav’s Fried Chicken, the first in a planned chain.
Flav, who has a culimary degree and restaurant experience, picked this unlikely launch location after consulting with business partner and local restaurateur, Nick Cimino.
Cimino’s brother, Peter, owns Mama Cimino’s in Las Vegas, ushering in a relationship that eventually led to Flav’s appearance in Clinton.
“When the (Cimino) family first met me, it was automatically love at first sight,” Flav told the Clinton Herald while standing in his restaurant Friday. “They loved your boy Flav.”
Once Flav started selling his 99-cent chicken wings at Mama Cimino’s in Las Vegas, Nick Cimino developed the idea to bring FFC to Clinton.
“Nick sees me frying the chicken and says ‘I’m going back to my town and I’m going to build us a restaurant, the first FFC restaurant,’” Flav said. “I said, ‘Huh, are you serious?’”
Nick Cimino bought the building, 916 N. Second St., which is next door to Clinton’s Mama Cimino’s, and started working. Cimino did most of the renovations and developed the ideas behind the pictures and murals, creating a 3D atmosphere of bringing Flav directly to customers, Cimino said. All the murals were painted by the local business, Doggish, and showcase the many faces of Flav, including him wearing his famous clock, viking helmet and grills.
Combined with the support from Flav, Cimino finished the renovations in about two months, readying the building for the grand opening and ribbon cutting slated for today.
Flav insists that he will be an active owner. He promises to be in town often to help promote the product and make sure the chicken is cooked to his liking.
Even Thursday night, when Flav entered Clinton, he displayed his kitchen skills by frying up the first piece of chicken at FFC.
“I don’t want to be just known to have a spot,” Flav said. “You’re going to find me in here working. You’re going to be catching me seasoning my chicken, flouring my chicken, frying up my chicken, and not only that, but serving my chicken to my people.”